Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.
Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.
“The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.
Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.
Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.
Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
7 Things: Impeachment slog continues, officers involved in Madison shooting still off the street, Chick-fil-A caves to their enemies and more …
7. Iron Bowl details announced
The SEC announced that the Iron Bowl will be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn this year on November 30 at 2:30 p.m.
The game is set to be broadcasted on CBS. The weekend before the Iron Bowl, Auburn and Alabama are matched up against Samford and Western Carolina, respectively, but Alabama will be playing its first game without quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Lawmakers in Ohio have proposed a bill that would ban abortions and bring murder charges against doctors who perform abortions, except for in a situation where a doctor saves the life of the mother but has to terminate the pregnancy.
State Representative Candice Keller (R-Ohio) said, “The time has come to abolish abortion in its entirety and recognize that each individual has the inviolable and inalienable Right to Life.” Ohio already has a “heartbeat” abortion law, and this would just take it one step further.
5. President Trump’s doctor: There are no concerns with Trump’s health
Speculation ran rampant, as was expected after the president made an unexpected stop at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, but in a memo released by Dr. Sean Conley, physician to the president, he explained that the visit was part of a routine checkup but was kept off the record because of “scheduling uncertainties.”
This will placate absolutely no one, but Trump’s physician said his total cholesterol is 165, with HDL of 70, LDL of 84 and non-HDL of 95, all within recommended ranges for the 73-year-old President of the United States.
4. Buttigieg isn’t fighting racial inequality very well
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 Democratic presidential campaign has somewhat focused on a plan to fight racial inequality, but on the portion of his campaign website designated to such efforts, his campaign used a stock photo of a Kenyan woman playing with her son.
The issue is with more than just one picture, though, as it’s been found that Buttigieg’s campaign has a habit of using stock photos of black individuals on their website that have no affiliation with the campaign. People have especially taken issue with this since some of the stock photos were used to promote “the Douglass plan.”
3. The mob will never be satiated
After years of support by a die-hard fanbase that liked the fact that a chicken restaurant was willing to stand by their principles of its owners, Chick-fil-A announced that they would no longer be donating money to “controversial” Christian charities such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army.
This decision was met with derision by their supporters and attacked by the people they were trying to appease. GLAAD released a statement declaring this move was not good enough, stating, “In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents.”
2. An internal investigation has started in Madison shooting
The five police officers involved in the shooting of Dana Fletcher at the Planet Fitness in Madison are to remain on leave as the internal investigation takes place, but Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard has already said that the shooting was legally justified.
Despite Broussard’s observation, the Madison police review board still has to go through the case, which includes a commander, lieutenant, sergeant and officer. Chief David Jernigan said, “Our officers are constantly and consistently receiving training in all areas of 21st century policing, including de-escalation techniques, officer safety, non-lethal options, and response to resistance.”
1. Impeachment testimonies start and maybe these are the ones that really matter
Week one’s impeachment proceedings were relatively uneventful. America seems generally less than interested and unwilling to be persuaded one way or the other, but the American media has still sold every testimony like it was a bombshell and keeps telling us that the next one will bring it all together.
Tuesday’s events will broadcast on all the networks as critics of President Trump’s foreign policy are praised for their service and they proceed to tell us that they don’t like how he does his job. Some will even relay a phone call they overheard in a restaurant.
7 Things: Impeachment week two begins, Sessions goes after Jones, Alabama Democrats keep fighting and more …
7. Trump’s health questioned
The president of the United States’ health is always a serious concern, so when President Donald Trump made an unplanned stop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, many were concerned about the reason for the visit. However, Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, stated, “The president remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week.”
Rumors about the health of a candidate, a politician or a public figure pop up whenever something like this happens, so the argument that this was the first part of a yearly physical is being met with reasonable skepticism.
6. Bloomberg is apologizing for the good stuff he did as mayor
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now apologizing for his “stop and frisk” policy that was very controversial at the time and was later removed. He said that “far too many innocent people” were affected by the policy.
Bloomberg also added, “I got something wrong. I got something important really wrong.” While he has filed presidential primary paperwork in Arkansas and Alabama, Bloomberg is yet to formally announce his 2020 presidential campaign.
5. Pete Buttigieg is up in Iowa
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is currently leading in the polls in Iowa over a former vice president, a handful of United States senators, a couple of billionaires and others with a quarter of the vote.
A poll from CNN and the Des Moines Register is the first poll to have Buttigieg as a frontrunner outside of the margin of error and continues the trend that sees him gaining support among potential Democratic voters.
4. Meeting today about prison reform
The “Why Prison Reform Should Matter to All Alabamians” meeting is planned for Monday to discuss marijuana laws, human rights issues in prisons, civil asset forfeiture, school-to-prison and predatory lending reform. Some of the guests attending will be State Representative Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham), journalist Beth Shelburne, Alabama Appleseed executive director Carla Crowder and attorney Donna Smalley.
On the Facebook event page, it says that “Alabama’s criminal justice system will be the top priority for the 2020 Legislature.” It goes on to warn that if voices that support reform aren’t heard, “we are at risk of perpetuating the wasteful, racially-biased and inhumane system of mass incarceration that has left a stain upon our state and done doing nothing to make us safer.”
3. Worley really won’t give up this fight
Nancy Worley was replaced as the chair of the Alabama State Democratic Party, and now she’s trying to rally more people to support her in her legal battle against the “splinter group” in the state party and the Democratic National Committee.
Worley held a meeting on Saturday to gain more financial support, and after the meeting, Worley said, “If the other group wants to be the federal party, they make the choice to be the federal party.”
2. Jeff Sessions looks past his opponents to Doug Jones
While attending the Madison County Republican Men’s Club, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke and took aim at U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), pointing out that he doesn’t think Jones represents Alabama’s “real interests.”
Sessions said that Jones shouldn’t be the one who “represents Alabama in the United States Senate,” and that Jones “is a total advocate for activist judges.” Sessions went on to point out that Jones isn’t doing enough to “stand up” against how “the Democratic Party is taking this country down the exact wrong path.”
1. Week one was a bust for impeachment, now we move to week two
While there were some public hearings last week on impeachment, the secret closed-door meetings continued as well with Republicans emerging and saying Democrats have a “deader case” after Saturday’s testimony.
Week one was expected to bring bombshells, but it appears no one in the U.S. Senate was moved and the American people and the stock market seem to be shrugging this off as well.
U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is being investigated for ethics violations, and now the House Ethics Committee has released texts and emails where Tlaib requested campaign money for personal expenses.
In one of the messages, Tlaib said that she was “struggling financially” and she “was thinking the campaign could loan [her] money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one-time payment of $5k.” The Office of Congressional Ethics has already approved that the investigation is “expanded.”
5. Removing the “failing” label given to failing schools
During a state school board work session, Governor Kay Ivey showed her support for removing the “failing” label given to some schools in Alabama when she asked if the schools could be called “something besides ‘failing?’”
For the label of the bottom 6% of schools to change, the Alabama Accountability Act that was passed in 2013 would have to change. In 2017, State Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) proposed changing the label, according to his spokesperson William Califf.
4. Sessions wants the Trump endorsement
President Donald Trump has regularly been critical of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but while on “Fox & Friends,” Sessions said that he hopes to get Trump’s endorsement in the Alabama 2020 U.S. Senate election, adding that he’s “going to work for that.”
Sessions has already shown that he’s wanting Trump’s support in his new political video ad posted on social media where Sessions is first shown with Trump at the February 2016 rally and then Sessions puts on a MAGA hat in the video. The ad reinforces the fact that Sessions was the first to endorse Trump.
3. Shelby’s support for Sessions is already showing
Now that former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced his 2020 U.S. Senate campaign, he’s already received an endorsement from U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and at least 10 other Senators.
However, Shelby will be showing his support for Sessions by also attending a fundraiser to be held in Huntsville on January 5, 2020, that will have a general admission cost of $1,000 and a VIP admission cost of $5,000.
2. Byrne is calling out the impeachment process
While giving a speech on the House floor, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) took his time to bash the impeachment process, first by bringing attention to the fact that many other issues have been ignored, including “the US-Mexico Canada free trade agreement” and “funding the military or bipartisan legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs.”
Byrne went on to deem the process “a total sham” and mentioned that while the current impeachment hearings are public, they’re just a “showcasing of witnesses they’ve already interrogated and vetted in that little room to ensure they will say only what the Democrats desire.” Byrne also said that the whole impeachment effort is just the Democrats’ way of keeping President Donald Trump from getting reelected.
1. Now it is a bribery charge that will take down Trump
After polling and ratings determined that the media and their Democrats’ latest impeachment fixation is a bust, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded by saying this is now all about “bribery.” She stated, “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the election — that’s bribery.”
But this will not stop them. The Democrats will now take a few more bites at the apple today as a U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is expected to give an emotional testimony and now a new witness has emerged who declared that he overheard a phone call in a restaurant between the president of the United States and the ambassador to the European Union where he asked about the investigation.
7 Things: Impeachment hearings begin, Poarch Creek Indians want a compact with Alabama, JeffCo drug kingpin goes down and more …
7. Journalists at Northwestern have lost their minds
Northwestern University campus newspaper The Daily Northwestern reported on former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking at a Young Republicans meeting at the university, and now the newspaper has issued an apology.
The apology, which was crushed by actual journalists, stated, “We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night — along with how we plan to move forward.” The apology added how they realized that some of the pictures posted of protesters at the event were “retraumatizing and invasive.”
The Santa Cruz will be manufactured at the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, which according to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama will add hundreds of jobs and a $410 million expansion.
Manufacturing is set to begin in 2021. President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Byungjin Jin said that this action shows that Hyundai is “confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market.”
5. Eventually, every Democratic voter will be running for President
It’s anticipated that former Governor Deval Patrick will be launching a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign by the end of the week. He’ll likely go immediately to New Hampshire to file for the state’s primary.
Patrick has considered a presidential run before, but at the time ultimately decided against it due to the “cruelty of our election process.”
4. Byrne wants veterans to be able to choose their own doctor
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) has introduced legislation, the Full Choice for Veterans Act, which would allow veterans to receive care locally rather than having to go to a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital.
Byrne said that this would save taxpayer money, but it would also help veterans avoid having to deal with the current “dysfunctional system.” He added, “Our veterans deserve the best medical care available and should never forego treatment because of bureaucratic roadblocks.”
3. 18 arrested in Jefferson County drug case
Rolando Antuain Williamson, known as “Baldhead,” is the alleged kingpin of a multi-million dollar drug ring now in police custody after purchasing $80,000 in laundered cash that led to the dismantling of his Western Jefferson County empire.
Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town highlighted how extensive this enterprise was, saying, “Today, a group of federal and local law enforcement officers dismantled a drug-trafficking operation charged with peddling the poison of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana onto the streets of our city.”
2. Poarch Band of Creek Indians want to establish a compact with Alabama
PCI has launched its campaign to inform people on their plan to enter into a compact with Alabama, which would be very beneficial to the state based on the projections PCI has released.
The compact would allow PCI to operate casinos and table gaming within the state, and in return, PCI would pay Alabama over $1 billion within the first year due to projected taxes and fees from the operation.
1. The impeachment hearings have started
During the first round of public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, diplomats testified about Trump pursuing political investigations, but Republicans are still aren’t buying-in, calling the whole process a “low-rent Ukraine sequel” to the Russia probe and even asking the star witnesses if they could identify an impeachable offense (they could not).
The hearing also led to Republicans and Democrats fighting after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) interrupted a line of questioning to warn the witness to be “cautious” about their answers while Republicans proclaimed this was all hearsay. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) confusingly declared that “hearsay can be much better evidence than direct.”
7 Things: Impeachment ‘begins’, Trump willing to make a deal on DACA, Siegelman sees a Senate rematch and more …
7. Mo Brooks: Whistleblower is a spy for the Democrats
U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has deemed the whistleblower that sparked the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump “a spy on behalf of the Democrat party, Joe Biden and who knows whom else.”
Brooks went on to question whether he whistleblower violated any confidentiality. He stated, “[H]is doing what he did as a spy on behalf of the Democrats, has created a significant amount of friction between the United States of America, Ukraine and who knows who else.”
6. Family members demand bodycam footage of Madison man shot by police
In a continued battle, Dana Sherrod Fletcher’s family members made their first public appearance where they demanded the release of the police body camera footage from when Fletcher was shot in the Madison Planet Fitness parking lot.
National civil rights attorney Ben Crump is representing the family and has said that they intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit in a further effort for the footage to be released. Crump is maintaining that Fletcher wasn’t armed during the shooting.
5. Jeff Sessions argues that he is still the best choice to support Trump’s agenda
As former Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs for his old U.S. Senate seat in 2020 he will need to address his relationship with President Donald Trump. Sessions will do so by making it clear that he was pushing the arguments that led to Trump’s election before the now-president was even a candidate for office.
Sessions addressed the criticism about his recusal from the Russia investigation as well, saying, “I believe that [recusing] was the only thing I could do.” He added, “I believe we reviewed it carefully, and the regulations in the Department of Justice are specific. If you are a participant in a campaign, and I was a high level, full, just totally campaigned for Trump. I held a title of foreign national security advisor. So that was the deal. And it says explicitly, you can’t investigate your own campaign.”
4. Doug Jones is getting fundraising help from everywhere outside Alabama
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) put out a tweet asking for people to donate to U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) campaign to help him “beat Jeff Sessions in Alabama’s Senate race.”
Jones responded to the tweet, saying, “It is awesome to be in the company of such great friends – and true public servants,” This is a continuing trend of the majority of Jones’ donations coming from out of state, mostly from California and New York.
3. Siegelman sees Jones vs. Moore 2.0
Former Gov. Don Siegelman interviewed on “The Jeff Poor Show” where he said that he thinks former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been labeled as a “traitor to Trump.” He said that instead of Sessions winning he GOP primary in the U.S. Senate election, it could be former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Siegelman explained, “Roy Moore has a silent Christian vote that is huge. … This is a guy that gave up his seat on the Supreme Court because of his belief in the Ten Commandments.” He added that Moore has a “strong base,” but in 2017 it was obvious that Moore’s base wasn’t large enough to beat Doug Jones.
2. Trump will cut a DACA deal
Experts believe that the Trump administration will eventually win the battle over his ability to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by an Obama executive, even though the hand-wringing over the illegal immigrants affected dominate the news coverage.
Even with this win looming, President Donald Trump seems ready to make deal with Democrats to give current DACA recipients some status. He tweeted, “If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”
1. The most important day of Trump’s presidency #1,027
After weeks of spoilers and leaks, the first public impeachment inquiry hearings begin today, and we already know what the angle of attack from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) will be. The defense of his methods was declared as well when he sent out a memo that said the hearings “will not serve as venues for any Member to further the same sham investigations into the Bidens.”
While Schiff demands the hearings are only about President Donald Trump’s actions and his alleged attempt to force Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for political gain and cover up the investigation, the public has already heard the most “damning” allegations of those being called to testify by Chairman Schiff.
Jessica Taylor, a candidate for the District 2 congressional seat, has signed the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge, which means that if elected she would then vote for the U.S. Term Limits Amendment.
The amendment would limit Congress members to three terms and senators to two terms. Taylor outlined, “We will never drain the swamp if we keep sending the same old career politicians to D.C. election after election.”
5. Biden continues to lead the race
A new survey conducted by Quinnipiac University shows that former Vice President Joe Biden is leading the in the 2020 presidential race in New Hampshire while South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has edged into third place.
The poll showed that Biden is only at 20% in the state, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is in second with 16%, Buttigieg is at 15% and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) came out in fourth with 14%.
4. Canadian cancel culture
In a nation with a prime minister who wore blackface, comments about immigrants showing gratitude to veterans have cost a renowned national figure his job as the face of hockey in the hockey-crazed nation.
His comments center around the Canadian tradition of wearing a poppy to show support for veterans and how he doesn’t see enough of them. He stated, “I live in Mississauga [Ontario]. Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. … Now you go to the small cities. You people … that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life. You love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that.”
3. DACA gets its day in court
The attempt by President Donald Trump to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama via executive order, the same way it was created, will have its first argument at the Supreme Court.
The program allows 660,000 illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and get work permits, but the question seems to hinge on the idea one president can create a program out of thin air and a federal judge can stop another president from ending it.
2. Protesters arrested at Veterans Day parade
As President Trump was honoring veterans, protesters decided this would be a good time to blow whistles and yell about impeachment. Protesters even spelled out the words “impeach” and “convict” on buildings while some chanted, “Lock him up!”
During the Veterans Day parade held in downtown Huntsville, three people were arrested while protesting the shooting of Dana Sherrod Fletcher when they staged a “die-in” on Monroe Street during the parade where they laid down in the middle of the road. They were very quickly removed by officers and charged with disorderly conduct.
While U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) was attending the Alabama vs. LSU game with President Donald Trump, Trump “expressed his disappointment” with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions entering the U.S. Senate race in Alabama.
Byrne didn’t specify what Trump said, but he did go on to say that he feels “extraordinarily encouraged” by the support he’s received since Sessions announced.
7 Things: Trump cheered in Tuscaloosa, Senate rivals all staying in after Sessions’ entry, Democrats’ impeachment games continue and more …
7. ISIS bride is still trying to come back
The Alabama woman, Hoda Muthana, who joined ISIS back in 2014 is still trying to return to the United States with her son, saying that she “regrets every single thing.” She’s also spoken about how she and her son aren’t safe at the Syria refugee camp where they’re living.
While interviewing with NBC, Muthana said that “everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were.” In February, President Donald Trump said that he wouldn’t be allowing Muthana back into the country.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley did an interview with “CBS Evening News” where she opened up about a conversation she had with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, where they told her that they “resisted the president.”
Haley said Tillerson and Kelly should’ve told the president what their issues were with what was happening, but their attempt “to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing.” She added, “And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. And it was offensive.”
5. A legend is born
Hoyt Hutchinson posted a video on Facebook declaring that he was going to make a scene at the “Baby Trump” balloon appearance in Tuscaloosa, and he surely did when he stabbed the balloon, deflating it and getting arrested in the process.
No good deed goes unnoticed, as a GoFundMe was set up to help pay Hutchinson’s legal costs with a $6,000 goal. The goal has been surpassed, and the amount donated currently sits at over $37,000.
4. Impeachment is dead in the Senate
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” saying that “any impeachment in the House that doesn’t allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid because without the whistleblower complaint we wouldn’t be talking about any of this.”
Graham also said that without being able to question the whistleblower, “it’s impossible to bring this case forward.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said this isn’t going anywhere.
3. Sessions hasn’t scared any foes off yet
Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is officially in the race to take back his former U.S. Senate seat, but so far, his announcement doesn’t seem to have shaken too many of the other candidates.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has already said that he’s not going anywhere just yet and staying in the race. FarmPAC, who has endorsed former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville, has shown no indication of changing their endorsement to Jeff Sessions.
2. Trump shows restraint in U.S. Senate race — so far
During a TV interview, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about entering the U.S. Senate race in Alabama and mentioned how he thinks President Donald Trump has indicated that “he’s certainly neutral in this race.”
Sessions went on to say that Donald Trump, Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence’s comments that whoever is elected is up to the people of Alabama is a good sign. Ultimately, Sessions still believes that Trump has “honored the promises he’s made to the American people.”
1. The Trumps were welcomed in Alabama
On Saturday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended the University of Alabama vs. LSU game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. As expected, they were greeted with cheers and chants of “USA-USA-USA!”
Since the game, there have been a few people who criticized Trump for attending the game. Some attempted to downplay the support shown for Trump and exaggerate the minor protests that took place during the game.
7 Things: Proof of quid pro quo is lacking, Sessions is in, Tuberville Super PAC brutalizes Sessions and more …
7. Huntsville passes Montgomery, sets targets on Birmingham
Montgomery has been knocked down to the third-largest city as Huntsville takes place as the second-largest city in the state. The population in Huntsville is estimated to be 199,808, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
While Birmingham is still listed as the largest city in the state, Huntsville is on track to surpass Birmingham within the next five years. Huntsville officials in 2015 predicted that Huntsville would pass Montgomery and become the largest city by 2022.
6. AL(dot)com reporter blames Trump for aggressive Alabama males
In another eyebrow-raising tweet, Alabama Media Group’s women and gender reporter Abbey Crain asked readers to recall how Trump’s election led to male students at the University of Alabama behaving inappropriately, tweeting, “Remember when all us girls who went to UA were talking to current UA girls about how guys seemed more aggressive/emboldened post ’16 election?”
She continued to add, “Please be safe this weekend. Do not leave your girl alone. Buddy up. Don’t take drinks from strangers, etc.”
5. Baby Trump will be featured in Tuscaloosa
The giant inflatable baby Trump balloon will make an appearance in Tuscaloosa while President Donald Trump is also visiting for the Alabama/LSU game.
Trace Fayard and Nic Gulas started a GoFundMe campaign that has now raised $5,675, more than $1,000 over the initial goal, and the balloon will be stationed four blocks away from the Bryant-Denny Stadium. The media will surely seek it out and feature it prominently.
4. Kamala Harris is grifting off of Senator Doug Jones
Since former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is coming back to reclaim his Senate seat, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) presidential campaign sent out an email on Wednesday asking for funds for U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) campaign while attacking Sessions’ character.
The grift here is impressive by Kamala Harris. Her email specified that the funds would be split down the middle between Harris and Jones and said that Sessions is guilty of “decades of systemic racism and bigotry” while touting Jones as “a great Senator, a strong defender of civil rights, and a fighter for the people of Alabama.”
3. Jeff Sessions has entered the race as Trump readies attacks
During his appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he will be campaigning to win back his former U.S. Senate seat that’s currently held by Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).
In anticipation of his announcement, the New York Times has already reported that President Donald Trump planned to attack Sessions upon entering the already crowded field of candidates. The report stated that Trump notified Sessions “that he would publicly attack him if he ran.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “The president said he was very much still opposed to Mr. Sessions and would make that clear if he had to.”
2. Tuberville Super PAC has already released an ad against Sessions
A Super PAC supporting former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville’s campaign has released a new video ad that compares Tuberville to former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, mainly outlining what President Donald Trump has said about Sessions.
The ad was released on the one-year anniversary of when Sessions resigned as attorney general and the same day he was expected to announce his Senate candidacy; some of the Trump quotes in the video are from when he called Sessions “a disaster” and an “embarrassment to Alabama.”
1. Latest impeachment witness saw no quid pro quo
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified to Congress that he was “concerned” about Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to remove an ambassador and Ukrainian foreign policy, but he had no “direct knowledge” of a quid pro quo with Ukraine. He additionally confirmed that “nobody in the Ukrainian Government became aware of a hold on military aid” until a month after the much-ballyhooed July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kent also informed House members that he had previously tried to raise concerns and look into Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine, but was told not to due to Beau Biden’s poor health.
AL(dot)com reporter blames Trump election win for ‘aggressive’ male students at University of Alabama; Urges women ‘to be safe’ while Trump is in Tuscaloosa
(A. Crain/Twitter, Wikicommons, YHN)
For decades, the Mobile Press-Register, the Birmingham News and the Huntsville Times, the newspapers currently under the AL(dot)com umbrella, were three of the state’s most important newspapers of record.
While it is not clear if that is any longer the case, the editorial direction of those newspapers, which serve more as a print-version of the Internet-focused AL(dot)com, have taken a far-left tilt.
That was on display on Thursday in a tweet from AL(dot)com women and gender issues reporter Abbey Crain. The tweet seemingly tied President Donald Trump’s election win in 2016 to sexual assault and offered warning for Trump’s visit to the University of Alabama campus for this weekend’s college football match-up between the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
7 Things: AL(dot)com spreading fake news, Sessions to announce Senate run, majority think Trump will win in 2020 and more …
7. Federal judges overstep to strike-down healthcare rule
A rule that was set to take effect on November 22 that would have protected medical providers from performing certain medical services, such as abortions, on religious or moral grounds, has now been blocked by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer.
Since the rule would’ve allowed the Department of Health and Human Services to revoke federal funding from care centers that didn’t comply with the rule, Engelmayer said, “Wherever the outermost lime where persuasion gives way to coercion lies, the threat to pull all HHS funding here crosses it.”
6. “Anonymous” book makes outrageous claims that are instantly denied
The media and their Democrats will treat any attack on Republicans and President Donald Trump as absolute gospel, no matter how far-fetched it is. A book written by an anonymous author claims Vice President Mike Pence was willing to go along with invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump.
Facts are irrelevant here. Vetting this source is impossible, but if it makes the right people look bad, it will still be portrayed as a scandalous allegation. The attempted coup never happened, and Pence’s team has called the suggestion “fake news.”
5. Pete Buttigieg is now second in Iowa as Joe Biden continues to slip
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is now in a statistical tie with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as well as former Vice President Joe Biden, with all four candidates between 20% and 15%.
This isn’t the first poll where Biden finds himself in third or fourth place in Iowa, as he is losing momentum in the early contest while maintaining his frontrunner-ish status in the national polls.
4. The impeachment process is “tainted”
While interviewing with AL.com, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) discussed the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump in which he described the process as “tainted.”
Byrne went on to say that the “resolution that they passed last week is a joke.” He added that after going about impeachment “the wrong way for so many weeks, you can’t un-taint it.”
3. New poll shows Trump could win in 2020
New data released by Politico/Morning Consult shows that among registered voters, 56% think Trump will be reelected in 2020, with 27% saying reelection is “very likely” and 29% saying it’s “somewhat likely.”
Only 34% of voters responded to the survey saying they didn’t think Trump would be reelected, while 10% of respondents remained unsure. Among Republicans, 85% believe Trump will win in 2020, but only 35% of Democrats and 51% of Independents think he will be reelected.
2. Sessions about to announce his Senate campaign
Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday where he is expected to announce that he will enter the race to reclaim his U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
The deadline to qualify for the race is 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Sessions would be entering the race as a clear underdog that will now not only need to convince voters to select him over other candidates, but he will also have to fend off attacks from a popular president from his own party.
1. AL.com starts a fake news storm
With the upcoming University of Alabama v. LSU game that President Donald Trump will be attending, the University of Alabama Student Government sent an email from SGA vice president Jason Rothfarb to students warning them that “organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season.”
The email also mentioned that there will be added security. While AL.com’s inaccurate piece about the event said that the University of Alabama was trying to keep students from protesting, the real reason for the email is due to recent altercations that have taken place at games.
7 Things: Differing opinions on quid pro quo, party switcher explains why he switched, LSU QB excited Trump is coming to Tuscaloosa and more …
7. Universal healthcare isn’t universal or healthcare
While U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have made their “Medicare-For-All” plans a huge focus of their presidential campaigns, there is now new data released from the British government on their National Health Service (NHS), which is a comparative single-payer system.
The report from the NHS states, “Cancer waiting times are the worst on record,” whereas the overall waiting list for treatment with specialists totals more than 4.5 million people, which is an increase of 40% in the last five years. The NHS has repeatedly been used as an example of a successful government-run health care system by Democrats.
In a piece written for Yellowhammer News, former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville wrote about President Donald Trump’s upcoming trip to Alabama for the University of Alabama vs. LSU game on Saturday.
Tuberville wrote, “In Alabama, you will not be heckled or booed, but embraced as our commander in chief. We support you, and we are rooting for your continued success.” While Tuberville conveyed that the state supports Trump and will give him a warm welcome, it also reinforces the fact that Tuberville seems to be running his campaign on how much he loves Trump.
5. ABC covered up Epstein story, media covers for them
Recently, a video of ABC News anchor Amy Robach was leaked that revealed ABC News covered up a Jeffery Epstein story so they could continue their coverage of the royal family.
A victim of Epstein, Virginia Roberts, said that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s island, but ABC said her story didn’t meet their “standards” to report. But despite these “standards,” they reported poorly sourced stories on then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
4. Not a good night for Republicans
Virginia has been trending blue for a couple of years and has now completely become a Democratic state as Republicans lost both chambers of the state legislative body and now are on the outside looking in when it comes to governance in this formerly red state.
Things went better in Kentucky where Republicans control the legislature and all statewide offices, but they appear to have lost the race for governor by a slim margin. Some attribute that to the unlikeable incumbent while others are trying to blame the president and the national mood. Either way, it is not good news for Republicans.
3. LSU’s quarterback excited the president will be at his game
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was asked about President Donald Trump’s upcoming attendance of the Alabama vs. LSU game, to which he responded, “[R]egardless of your political views, that’s pretty cool having the president at the game.”
Burrow went on to say, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, [the] president at the game is pretty cool.”
2. Alabama party switcher explains why he switched
In 2020, Madison County License director Mark Craig will be running as a Republican. He explained his reason for the party switch is due to “today’s climate and culture, you just realize some of your beliefs and thoughts line up differently.”
Craig also explained that as time has passed, he’s become more in line with Republican views rather than Democratic views, but he has emphasized that his position is non-partisan and that his office isn’t “making the laws.” He added, “We have zero policy-setting ability and try to help each person as best we can.”
1. Differing opinions on quid pro quo
Some of the transcripts from impeachment testimonies have been released, but if there’s any “quid pro quo” is still unclear. While some of the contents of the transcripts were concerning, they weren’t necessarily incriminating, and surely aren’t going to lead to the removal of President Donald Trump by the United States Senate.
The transcripts seem to go back and forth on whether or not Trump was intentionally withholding foreign aid from Ukraine until they agreed to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has pointed out that Ambassador Gordon Sondland said he “cannot identify a solid source” for assuming that there’s an actual link to aid. In another less reported moment, Sondland said the president told him, “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing… to do what he ran on.”
7 Things: Trump coming to watch Bama take on LSU, Madison sheriff and DA hear demands that body cams be released, Merrill doesn’t see Sessions running and more …
7. Hate is so prevalent in our society that the “victims” have to fabricate it
A sports talk show host in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been fired from his job after his employer found out that he sent a “homophobic” tweet to himself and then demanded $2 million dollars to settle a “workplace harassment case.”
WWL’s Seth Dunlap claimed someone at the station sent the tweet after he came out and wrote a post on the station’s website about the trial of being gay in the sports media. An investigation found the tweet came from his phone and the station claims he was attempting to extort the parent company.
With former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) out of the 2020 presidential race, gun-grabbing will be approached more subtly, but the idea isn’t working for New Zealand, which implemented a gun “buyback” program.
Some estimates placed the number of prohibited firearms at around 175,000, but only 32,000 have been turned in with the December 20 deadline approaching. That means roughly 18% of the soon to be illegal firearms have been turned in.
5. Impeachment transcripts are out
The first round of transcripts from the impeachment inquiry have been released by the House Democrats, which included the testimony of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanivitch and Michael McKinley, a former senior advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The transcripts revealed that Yovanovitch testified that she was told about Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to push her out, but McKinley testified that he resigned because he saw something he hadn’t seen “in 37 years in the Foreign Service,” which was State Department officials trying to gather negative information the president’s opponents.
4. Tommy Tuberville thought Alabama fans wouldn’t vote for him
Despite the fact that Tommy Tuberville is a former Auburn Football coach, he’s still leading in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Tuberville has now said that he thinks it was his coaching past that brought him so much support.
Tuberville explained that people around the state and country really love football, which is part of why he thinks he’ll get Alabama’s vote, adding it is “because they know I did something that’s hard to do – it’s coach football. And I won at it, you know. And people like winners.”
3. Merrill doesn’t think Sessions is going to run
During a radio interview, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said that he’s been with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a couple of times” recently, and said, “Not one time did [Sessions] mention to me that he might be interested in coming back and retaining his old Senate seat.”
Merrill also noted that if Sessions does get in the race, it’ll be major news “that will receive national coverage,.” We’ll have the answer for sure by 5:00 p.m. on Friday when the period to qualify for the March 3 GOP primary ends.
2. Angry crowd confronts Alabama sheriff and district attorney
The shooting death of a black man during an altercation with police in late October sparked an emotional meeting where members of the black community demanded the release of body cam recordings and threatened to vote out elected officials.
Madison County Sherriff Kevin Turner told the crowd that the shooting was justified, explaining, “Whether you want to believe it or not, there was a weapon involved.” Turner added the 39-year-old Dana Fletcher “pointed the weapon at the officer.”
1. Maybe Trump won’t get booed this time
President Donald Trump is planning to attend the LSU vs. Alabama game in Tuscaloosa this weekend, which will be just before Louisiana holds its runoff election for the gubernatorial race on November 16.
The Louisiana runoff is between Governor John Bel Edwards and businessman Eddie Rispone. Trump has already been vocal about his support of Rispone, tweeting that “John Bel Edwards is always fighting our MAGA Agenda.”
Law enforcement is publicly talking about the existence of a gun and the use of less than deadly force in the form of a canine and a taser, but there is a cellphone video of officers screaming about the existence of a gun right before the shooting.
If there is a gun, it will go down as a good shoot.
The ongoing investigation is important. It should happen quickly and thoroughly, but the end of that investigation should bring about the release of the video.
The spokesperson for the Madison County Sherriff’s department seems to think this doesn’t need to happen.
A spokesman for the Madison County sheriff’s office, which is investigating the shooting, said he doesn’t anticipate releasing video to the public.
“All video gathered is considered evidence and is part of the investigation,” he said in a statement.
Alabama law makes this possible, and that needs to change. There is no reason to not make these videos public after the investigation is completed.
But even without that, a photo of the gun or other exculpatory evidence would placate a public that is being bombarded with the idea that these shootings take place regularly and intentionally.
Secrecy breeds contempt, which destroys trust.
The tape should be released as soon as possible. Law enforcement should not be making statements about how they don’t anticipate releasing the video. They should be working on clearing up this case so they can release the video.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN
7 Things: Whistleblower to be interviewed, Brooks and Sewell talk impeachment, new Alabama Democrat leadership (maybe) and more …
7. Cam Ward is pushing for prison reform as he runs for Supreme Court
State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has announced that he will be seeking the Place 1 associate justice seat on the Alabama Supreme Court in 2020, and while speaking at the Shoals Republican Club meeting, he discussed his stance on prison reform.
Ward explained why he doesn’t want to “go into a federal receivership like we did in the 1980s” because one of the consequences could be releasing “very nasty people.” Ward also added about his candidacy that he’s not “perfect” but that he’s “going to take on tough issues and not be afraid of it.”
6. They should release the body cam tape from the Madison shooting
It’s been a week since Dana Sherrod was shot by police in the parking lot of Planet Fitness in Madison, and while the body camera footage hasn’t been released, county officials are still investigating the incident.
An attorney for the Alabama Press Association, Dennis Bailey, said that many other states are arguing police body camera footage should be public record, but the Madison County sheriff’s office spokesman said the footage in this case “is considered the evidence and is part of the investigation.”
5. Battleground polling looks far better than national polls for Trump
With the media and their Democrats in a full-out coordinated attack on all things related to the Trump presidency, you would think the net effect would be a presidential race that was all but over, but according to new polling in battleground states, the race is far closer than you would imagine if you only consumed traditional mainstream media sources.
While Trump trails his top three rivals nationally in most polls by a wide margin, in the six closest states that went Republican in 2016, Biden is up on Trump by an average of two points. Trump leads Elizabeth Warren by two points, the same margin he beat Hillary Clinton.
4. Elizabeth Warren’s terrible idea is terrible
How Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) plans to find $20.5 trillion to pay for her $52 trillion healthcare plan over the next 10 years may be irrelevant because it has absolutely no chance of getting enacted, according to her political opponents. The plan is solely meant to help her get through the Democratic primary because it requires massive changes to defense, immigration and overall tax policy.
Warren’s biggest threat at this point, Joe Biden, took this as an opportunity to further show he is the moderate voice in the 2020 Democratic race, calling out Warren’s plan, saying, “For months, Elizabeth Warren has refused to say if her health care plan would raise taxes on the middle class, and now we know why: because it does. Senator Warren would place a new tax of nearly $9 trillion that will fall on American workers.”
3. Nancy Worley is out
Nancy Worley has been voted out as party chair of the Alabama Democratic Party. If the vote holds, she will be replaced with State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa).
Worley has already disregarded the vote and said that she’s looking “forward to continuing our leadership roles in the Party.”
2. Alabama congressmen hit the national airwaves on impeachment
U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Montgomery) appeared Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where she discussed the current impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. She said that she’s seen her “Republican colleagues twist themselves into a pretzel to defend the indefensible.”
Sunday evening, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) appeared on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty, & Levin” where he praised Trump, saying, “I’m thankful the president is trying to ferret out corruption wherever it may exist.”
1. The whistleblower to be questioned by Republicans
The whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, has said that the whistleblower is now willing to answer questions from House Republicans. This offer allows Republicans to ask questions without going through U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Republicans will be able to ask questions specifically “in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury,” according to Zaid, who added that they are “ready to cooperate and ensure facts – rather than partisanship – dictates any process involving the #whistleblower.”
7 Things: Impeachment process formally starts, Alabama votes ‘no’ on impeachment, Trump talks the Alabama Senate race and more …
7. The Senate has given the Moon mission more money
For the 2020 Fiscal Year budget, the U.S. Senate has approved an additional $1.25 billion for NASA’s return to the Moon by 2024. Most of the money will be coming to Alabama for a rocket program managed in the state.
$2.6 billion in 2020 will be going to the Space Launch System (SLS), which is managed in Huntsville at the Marshall Space Flight Center. While the budget was approved by the Senate 84-9, it still has to pass the House and be signed by President Donald Trump.
U.S. Representative Katie Hill (D-CA) resigned because she misused her office and broke House rules, but in a “fiery” speech, she for some reason declared she wasn’t giving in to a “double standard” that only affects women, declaring she would not be “silenced.”
Perplexingly, the media and their Democrats are all in on this narrative even though she is actually resigning in disgrace to cut off an ethics investigation after admitting that “[e]ven a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate.”
5. Moore qualifies on Halloween
In news that will spook Democrats and Republicans alike, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice (twice removed) Roy Moore has officially qualified to run for the Republican nomination by turning in his filing fee and paperwork at the offices of the Alabama Republican Party in Birmingham.
Moore, the Republican nominee and loser in 2017’s special election is polling in third place in most polls, but his support is very solid. Missteps by other candidates or the entry of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions could help him make the runoff.
4. Trump is really concerned about Alabama’s Senate race
While speaking to House Republicans, President Donald Trump asked about the U.S. Senate race in Alabama, and while speaking to U.S. Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) he asked, “Who is gonna win Alabama?”
Trump added, though, that he didn’t want to hear that Sessions would win. Instead, he asked, “Is it gonna be the coach?” referring to former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville who is the current frontrunner in the race. U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) reportedly said that U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) would win.
3. Nothing illegal on Ukraine call
Tim Morrison, a former White House advisor on the National Security Council, has testified that he doesn’t think “anything illegal was discussed” during President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president,
Morrison clarified his statements, saying that he “was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.” U.S. Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) spoke about Morrison’s testimony and has said it was “damaging to the Democrat narrative.”
2. Alabama a “no” on impeachment
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives held a vote on the resolution to formally begin an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and all of the Republican Representatives from Alabama voted against the resolution. On top of that, no Republican Representatives from anywhere in the country voted in favor of the resolution.
Only two House Democrats voted against the resolution, but U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) was not one of them as the resolution passed 232-196.
1. Impeachment resolution approved
After the impeachment resolution passed the House on Thursday, House members went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), asking why she changed her stance on impeachment when she previously stated she wouldn’t support impeachment without “overwhelming and bipartisan” concern.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “We believe in the rule of law. But unfortunately, in Nancy’s House, we do not.” While speaking on the floor, Pelosi said that she hopes this entire process would take place “in a way that brings people together that is healing rather than dividing,” despite the fact that this is a completely partisan decision.
7 Things: Impeachment vote happening today, ‘whistleblower’ identified, Shelby is all about Sessions getting in the Senate race and more …
7. Doug Jones donors cannot vote for him
It’s not unknown that U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has received a majority of his donations from out of state. New numbers show that he’s received the largest portion of his donations from California, totaling more than $664,000 from California alone but only $521,000 from Alabama.
A trial attorney from California, Mike Arias, donated $500 to Jones’ campaign and reasoned, “You can’t just be electing your own senators. You have to realize that to get things done, you have to help elect other like-minded senators in other states.” In comparison to Jones, the GOP candidates have raised $2 million in Alabama and only $295,000 from California.
U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Wednesday filed an ethics complaint with the House Ethics Committee asking that they investigate House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Gaetz announced the ethics complaint on Twitter, saying it was for Schiff’s actions in “Distorting @POTUS’s call with President Zelensky; Lying to the public about ‘Russian Collusion;’ Blocking Members of Congress from attending impeachment depositions.”
5. Trump has qualified in Alabama
While Governor Kay Ivey handed over the necessary petitions for President Donald Trump to qualify for the March 3, 2020 primary in Alabama, Ivey also said she’s “very confident that the people of Alabama will again give him strong support.”
Ivey added, “Progress is what we’ve gotten from President Trump.” She’s encouraging everyone to vote in 2020. Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh has echoed Ivey’s claims, saying Trump has “brought unprecedented prosperity to Alabama.”
4. Donald Trump, Jr. doesn’t think the impeachment inquiry will work
During an exclusive interview with Yellowhammer News, Donald Trump, Jr. was asked about the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and the younger Trump said that because the Democrats couldn’t get the president during the Russia probe, impeachment over the phone call with Ukraine’s president is the second option.
Trump also mentioned how The Washington Post posted an article with the headline, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun” on Inauguration Day 2016 to emphasize that Democrats have been working toward this since the election. But he added, “It won’t work and Donald Trump will be re-elected in a landslide.”
3. Obviously Sessions is being supported by Shelby
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)mentioned on Wednesday that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has “always endorsed” him and is his “friend. He indicated that President Donald Trump might not oppose Sessions getting in the Senate race.
Sessions only has until November 8 to qualify for the Alabama 2020 Republican Senate primary. Shelby said that there’s “a lot of indications pointing to him running but he hasn’t said unequivocally.”
2. The whistleblower may have been identified, media silent
RealClearInvestigations, an arm of RealClearPolitics, has identified the whistleblower as Eric Ciaramella and claims he is a clear partisan actor, a critic of Trump’s Ukraine policy and has strong connections to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper.
Ciaramella worked at the National Security Council and was a clear opponent of Trump’s foreign policy after he was removed from that position at the NSC for suspected leaks and he returned to the CIA.
1. Impeachment vote is happening but the process is still secretive
As Democrats move forward with a baby step towards actual impeachment, some polls show that their reasoning isn’t really all that solid across the country. Some moderate Democrats were surprised by the vote, and even NBC’s Tom Brokaw is warning that they “still don’t have the goods” on Trump as they did on Nixon.
Their move is hardly a true step forward as it keeps the secrecy and multiple committees investigating pretty much everything Trump has ever done. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) called this process “corrupt” and added, “[T]hey are prosecuting a man without a crime and searching for a crime to prosecute.”
7 Things: Impeachment resolutions lacking specificity, Alabama abortion bill blocked, knives out for Sessions and more …
7. Harvey Updyke probably going back to jail
Harvey Updyke, the man who poisoned the Toomer’s Corner oak trees has only paid off $6,900 of the $800,000 he owes in penalties and restitution, so he could be going back to jail.
Updyke’s hearing is scheduled for today, but a doctor has said that Updyke is too ill to travel from Louisiana to Auburn for the hearing. Circuit Judge Jacob Walker has said he will address these issues.
Student-athletes can now make money off the use of their name, likeness and image after the NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously on Tuesday. Board chair Michael Drake said, “We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes.”
Rules will be established between now and January 2021, and each division will specify their own rules under the new decision. NCAA President Mark Emmert said that this will help maintain “some recruiting balance,” which “is one of the biggest and hardest issues that everyone’s dealing with.”
5. Another ISIS leader gets whacked
President Donald Trump announced that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s “number one replacement,” ISIS spokesperson Abu Hasan al-Muhajir, has been killed.
It’s still not clear who will succeed al-Baghdadi, but currently, those who remain in ISIS have not acknowledged the deaths of al-Baghdadi or al-Muhajir.
4. Biden could suffer a “humiliating” loss
There seems to be some disagreement about who the frontrunner is for the Democrats nationally with polls showing different leaders, but in Iowa, it appears Joe Biden is running in fourth.
Democratic strategists now warn of a “humiliating” fourth-place finish in Iowa while another poll shows him at third in New Hampshire. Embarrassing losses in these races could doom his campaign.
3. Potential opponents comment on Jeff Sessions possibly entering Senate race
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seriously considering joining the field of candidates for the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Alabama. His potential opponents should he join are mostly holding their fire and declaring Sessions’ entry doesn’t change their strategies all that much.
While on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.,” former Auburn Football coach Tommy Tuberville was asked about Sessions joining the race. Tuberville took the opportunity to mention how he’s “an outsider,” but he also went after Sessions, saying, “He had a chance to help President Trump, and he failed him once. We don’t need him to fail him again.”
2. Abortion ban blocked in Alabama
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson did as everyone expected and issued a preliminary injunction to block the Alabama abortion ban from going into effect, which would’ve made performing an abortion a felony in most cases.
In a statement, Thompson wrote that the abortion ban contradicts the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling and the ban “violates the right of an individual to privacy, to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.” He added, “It diminishes the capacity of women to act in society and to make reproductive decisions. It defies the United States Constitution.”
1. Resolution to impeach Trump introduced but it’s unclear
The resolution to formally begin an impeachment inquiry has been introduced and it specifies that U.S. Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking Republicans in the minority on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, will be able to subpoena witnesses for testimony throughout the process (if Schiff agrees) and the House Intelligence, Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Ways and Means, and Judiciary Committees will continue their investigations.
The White House released a statement in response to the resolution saying that it proves the “House Democrats’ impeachment has been an illegitimate sham from the state are it lacked any proper authorization by a House vote.”
7 Things: An impeachment vote is planned, officer-involved shooting in Madison, here comes Sessions and more …
7. Alabama kids don’t want to go to school after Halloween
Vestavia Hills High School students have started a petition to cancel school the day after Halloween this year. Tre Stoutermire wrote for the petition that a big part of Halloween is being able to stay out late, adding, “Having to go to worry about waking up early in the morning for school shouldn’t be a problem.”
According to Change.org, 350,000 people have signed petitions on the site this week for “Halloween related petitions.” Petitions calling for school to be canceled have also been popular.
While the moral and media panic about vaping has led to private companies pulling e-cigarettes from sales and directly contributed to an increase in actual smoking, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that the deaths are not linked to the nicotine-based products.
Data involving 19 of the deaths that involve vaping products shows that 84% of those affected admitted (self-reported) to using THC products, 63% said they only used THC products and only 16% said they only used nicotine.
5. Katie Hill resigns
U.S. Representative Katie Hill (D-CA) has resigned due to her unethical behavior, including having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, but now Hill is playing the victim because she “never thought her imperfections would be weaponized and used to try to destroy” her.
Hill described her resignation as a “devastating decision” and she posted a video to Twitter explaining why she made her decision. In the video she referred to what she’s been through in the media as “revenge porn” and that “the right-wing media and Republican opponents, enabling and perpetuating my husband’s abuse by providing him a platform, is disgusting and unforgivable.”
4. Democrats talk to prisoners as Trump talks to sheriffs
Democratic presidential candidates Tom Steyer and Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) appeared at a hall at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia to talk about criminal justice reform.
Meanwhile, the media and their Democrats are not happy about the president of the United States appearing at a gathering of international police chiefs in Chicago praising police chiefs and talking tough on crime while comparing Chicago to Afghanistan and calling it “embarrassing to us as a nation.”
3. All signs point to Sessions jumping into the race
Monday, Yellowhammer News reported that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been reaching out to former staff and is close to jumping back into the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. Politico followed with their own story as well.
Because President Donald Trump has nothing else going on right now, expect him to start attacking his former attorney general to attempt to keep him out of the race.
2. Stories differ on officer-involved shooting death in Madison
On Sunday night, Dana Sherrod Fletcher was shot and killed by Madison police, and chief deputy of Madison County sheriff’s office Stacy Bates said that they have video that confirms Fletcher was armed and fighting officers. Sheriff Kevin Turner advised that there will be a “thorough investigation.”
Fletcher’s wife, Cherelle Fletcher, took to Facebook on Sunday where she claimed to witness the incident, and wrote, “At no point did my Dana have a weapon on him.” Bates detailed that Fletcher didn’t cooperate with officers and a taser was ineffective when he exited a vehicle with a gun.
1. Everyone gets what they pretended they want: an impeachment vote
Finally, the Democrats might actually vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a letter to Democratic House members informing them of a resolution that will be voted on this week that “affirms the ongoing, existing investigation” and “establishes the procedure” going forward.
Pelosi went on to say that the vote will be held on the resolution to prevent the Trump administration from being able to “withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.” The vote is scheduled for Thursday.
7 Things: Doug Jones backtracks after a reasonable statement, ISIS leader is dead and the media can’t handle it, impeachment frenzy is crippling Congress and more …
7. Alabama has been bumped out of the No. 1 spot
After LSU beat Auburn 23-20 on Saturday, LSU moved into the top spot on the Associated Press AP Top 25 poll, displacing the University of Alabama.
The Associated Press poll was “one of the closest votes ever,” according to the organization, but this will all be resolved on November 9 when LSU travels to Tuscaloosa and plays the Crimson Tide in a game that will air at 2:30 CST on CBS.
6. The swamp boos Trump was at Game 5 of the World Series
In line with tradition, President Donald Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series, but he didn’t throw out the first pitch. Instead, Trump arrived after the game already started and left before it ended to make his presence less disruptive.
The takeaway moment from his attendance was that the president was booed by the crowd to the delight of the media and their Democrats. Some at the game even yelled “Lock him up!”
5. 2020 Senate race has a clear frontrunner
The field for the Republican primary in 2020 may or may not include former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, yet, but according to a poll conducted by Alabama-based Cygnal, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville still leads the field.
Without taking Sessions into account, Tuberville polled at 32% with Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) polling at 18%, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (10.6%), followed by Secretary of State John Merrill (8.6%), State Rep. Arnold Mooney (2%) and Stanley Adair (1%), while 27.9% of those polled were undecided.
4. Alabama Congressional candidate makes waves by talking about “The Squad” and impeachment
Jessica Taylor is campaigning for the congressional seat in the Second District. She has said that she’s tired of how her generation has been talking about socialists “like that’s an ideology our nation should embrace.” Taylor has received a lot of attention, including a hit on “Fox & Friends.”
Taylor also said that she thinks she “can go toe-to-toe with that ‘Squad’ better than any other candidate,” noting that something important to her is that there’s someone in Congress “making sure we back up President Trump as these liberals attempt this coup in the House.”
3. Impeachment is preventing Intel Committee from doing their job
U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) has revealed that the House Intelligence Committee hasn’t been addressing terrorism or ISIS recently due to the impeachment inquiry requiring so much attention.
While on Fox News Channel’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Ratcliffe specified that “[i]t’s been well over a month” since the last time the committee had a terrorism briefing. Later on Sunday, U.S. Rep.Doug Collins (R-GA), ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, echoed Ratcliffe’s claims, voicing his frustration with Democrats prioritizing the impeachment inquiry over other business.
2. ISIS leader is dead — Media hit the hardest
Sunday morning, President Donald Trump confirmed that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “died like a dog,” specifying that he detonated a suicide vest he was wearing, which also killed three children. Additionally, a spokesman for ISIS was eliminated later that day.
The media and their Democrats were not happy with Trump tearing down a rapist terrorist slavemaster. Obituaries played up his religious education, some lied about a photo op, ambassadors complained about Trump’s language and journalists fretted that this would just help ISIS.
1. Doug Jones sent a reasonable tweet, but a Hollywood actor forced him to backtrack
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) voiced his support on Twitter of the killing of ISIS’s leader on Sunday, saying, “Last night was a victory for America & the civilized world & a blow to ISIS. Our brave forces who carried out this mission are held in the hearts of a grateful nation. I congratulate President Trump & our military leaders. They deserve great credit & our thanks. They have mine.”
However, the tweet triggered responses from Jones’ supporters that’s absolutely absurd, with actor Michaela Watkins replying to Jones, saying, “I congratulate our troops and leaders for the operation. Trump is a traitor. Impeach now.” People made sure to bring up when Trump tweeted in 2012 to “stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden,” and Jones quickly cowered under the pressure and tweeted, “Folks, for everyone who is sending me what Trump tweeted at Obama after Bin Laden’s death please know that I too remember that and did not like it at all.”
7 Things: Doug Jones had a bad day, battleground states aren’t fans of impeachment, two charged with murder in Kamille McKinney death and more …
7. Katie Hill lucky she’s a Democrat
U.S. Representative Katie Hill (D-CA) is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for her behavior, and now a picture of Hill has been released that shows her nude, holding a bong and indicates that she was in a “throuple” relationship that included her husband and a congressional campaign staffer.
According to screenshots of text messages that were already released, the “throuple” relationship ended earlier this year. Hill has admitted to the relationship with her staffer and she has filed for divorce, describing her marriage as “abusive.”
6. Pence blasts the NBA over China — Charles Barkley tries to attack him
Vice President Mike Pence condemned the NBA and its players for their acquiescence to the Chinese government, saying it is “un-American” for U.S. companies to “embrace censorship,” adding, “In siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly-owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime.”
After telling Pence, “to shut the hell up,” Barkley talked about appropriate consequences for Morey’s speech with China (which is exactly what Pence was talking about) and criticized President Trump for his trade war (which isn’t something China wants).
5. Moore doesn’t care if Sessions gets in the race
It’s been rumored that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions could get in the Alabama 2020 U.S. Senate race, but only if former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore became the Republican nominee.
During a radio interview, Moore said that Sessions joining the field “wouldn’t affect one way or another what I do … I want to give people a voice. They didn’t have a voice last Senate election. It was stolen from them.” Moore is ignoring the fact that U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) won because he was up against Moore.
4. The investigation into the start of the Russia investigation is now a criminal investigation
The probe being conducted by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham was, until this point, an administrative review into potential misconduct at the Department of Justice concerning the launching of the Russia probe, which is now a criminal investigation, according to NBC News.
The change now gives Durham power to subpoena witness testimony, gather documents, to impanel a grand jury and, if warranted, to file criminal charges. It also marks a ramp-up in potential severity of misdeeds that may have been committed.
3. Two charged in Kamille McKinney case
The 39-year-old Patrick Devone Stallworth, male, and 29-year-old Derick Irisha Brown, female, have been charged with capital murder in the Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney case, and if they are convicted, they could both face the death penalty.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said that police are still investigating, but “if appropriate, we will seek additional charges on both individuals. We refuse to stop until prosecution is completely upheld and the light of day is limited to one hour for both.”
2. Polling indicates impeachment is not playing well in battleground states
National polls show that Americans are pretty split on impeachment and removal of the president of the United States, but a series of other polls tell a different story on that and it could greatly affect 2020.
A poll of battleground states shows impeachment unfavorably and shows a 10-point margin against impeachment and removal whiole and another poll says Wisconsin voters aren’t fans either. These numbers and the pressure by Republicans for openness may be why the tone on public hearings has changed in the last 48 hours.
1. Doug Jones is representing his donors well in the Senate but not Alabama
A resolution by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that would undo the rule that prevents states from using “workarounds” to President Donald Trump’s tax reform was voted down in the Senate on Wednesday, but U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) voted to pass the resolution which would benefit the states most of his fundraising is coming from (not Alabama).
Later in the day, Jones would embarrass himself and the Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman by declaring the move by U.S. Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) was somehow akin to George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door. Luckily, no one asked him to explain that silliness further and Lyman just acted as a dutiful scribe.
7 Things: Brooks and Byrne join those angry over secrecy of impeachment hearing, permanent cease-fire in Syria, Trump interested in Alabama’s Senate race and more …
7. NYC Bar demands Barr recuse, seems unlikely
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been assisting with the Department of Justice’s probe into the phone call President Donald Trump had with the president of Ukraine, but now the New York City Bar Association is demanding that Barr recuse himself.
The statement put out by the Bar Association claims because Trump said that Barr “would be in touch” with the Ukraine president, it puts Barr in a position where he must recuse himself, and the Barr Association believes that Barr “appears to have participated in the DOJ review of the whistleblower’s complaint and its decision not to forward that complaint to Congress.”
6. Anti-Poarch Creek Indian (PCI) group won’t reveal its donors
You may be hearing radio and online ads from an organization called “Poarch Creek Accountability Now” that calls for taxation on Alabama’s Indian gaming facilities, but no one knows who is actually funding the group.
Former State Sen. Gerald Dial (R-Lineville), the executive director of the organization, says it doesn’t matter who is funding them. He adds the group is trying to point out how the PCI are opposed a lottery (a dubious fact) and that they don’t pay taxes, which is because as a federally recognized tribe, they are not required to pay state taxes on gambling funds.
5. Poarch Band of Creek Indians would support a clean lottery bill
The governmental relations advisor for PCI, Robbie McGhee, says that the PCI supports “a clean lottery bill … if it’s part of a larger casino package or whatever, that’s fine.”
McGhee also insisted that they “believe a standalone lottery could pass on its own.” He pointed to how people in Alabama will drive across state lines to buy lottery tickets. This past legislative session, Alabama had the opportunity to have the lottery, but the bill couldn’t pass the House after passing the Senate.
4. Brooks and Trump have discussed the 2020 U.S. Senate race
While visiting President Donald Trump with 22 other House Freedom Caucus members, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) discussed the current impeachment proceedings, but they also discussed Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.
For several minutes, Brooks and Trump discussed the race and Brooks said that he “explained to him what the polling data reflected – and that is that Tommy Tuberville has a double-digit lead.” Brooks explained that he believes the lead is due to name recognition and that he isn’t a politician, but he also explained to Trump that while Byrne is in second, he has the largest war chest. He also assured the president that no matter who the nominee is, they “will easily win the general election against Doug Jones.”
3. Permanent cease-fire agreement reached
Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have reached a “permanent ceasefire,” President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday, and he hopes that this will lead to long-lasting peace between Turkey and the Kurds.
Trump said, “This was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else … we’ve done something very, very special.” While Trump has removed the sanctions on Turkey, he did say that if the cease-fire agreement is broken by Turkey, sanctions could be imposed again.
For days, the media and their Democrats have unquestionably declared that the secret testimony of “top diplomat” Bill Taylor undoubtedly showed there was a quid pro quo, but a central figure in that accusation, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, disputes a number of “facts” being reported.
Highlighting the need for transcripts and transparency, Sondland’s attorney told the Washington Post that Sondland does not recall the key assertion that the Trump administration wanted Ukraine’s president to “go to a microphone” and commit to “opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference.”
1. Two Alabamians among Republicans who “storm” secret hearing
About 20 Republican congressmen, including U.S. Reps. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) and Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), went to the secure room in the Capitol where another closed-door impeachment hearing was going to be held, this time with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, but Republicans stood outside chanting “Let us in!” When a staffer momentarily opened the door to tell the congressman they weren’t allowed in, the GOP members filed into the room and demanded the impeachment proceedings be made public.
Instead of making proceedings public, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) postponed the secret hearing, and now Byrne has said on Twitter that Schiff is “threatening” him with an ethics complaint. At the press conference held before storming the hearing, Brooks said, “Show your face so we can see all the travesty that you are trying to foist on America and the degradation of our republic that you are engaged in.”